California now requires conviction before civil asset forfeiture

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California police departments’ license to steal cash from innocent people has been restricted, thanks to a new bill signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Let’s hope the federal government follows suit.

Nick Sibilla of The Institute for Justice says:

Since 1994, California state law has required a criminal conviction before real estate, vehicles, boats and cash under $25,000 could be forfeited to the government. But those requirements are completely missing under federal law. So California police could instead partner with a federal agency, take the property under federal law, and reap up to 80 percent of the proceeds.

To fix this, the new law requires a criminal conviction before agencies can receive forfeiture payments from the federal government on forfeited real estate, vehicles, boats and cash valued at under $40,000.

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